MAHTOMEDI CITY COUNCIL 2018 CLIMATE RESOLUTION

In 2018, the Mahtomedi City Council voted to approve the following climate change resolution. I helped craft sections on the consequences of climate change, including burdens, benefits, and responsibilities.

 

CITY OF MAHTOMEDI

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MINNESOTA

RESOLUTION NO. 2018-

 

A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING A COMMITMENT OF THE CITY OF MAHTOMEDI TO ACHIEVE CARBON NEUTRALITY BY 2050 IN ORDER TO PROTECT FUTURE GENERATIONS FROM THE RISKS OF CLIMATE DESTRUCTION

WHEREAS, 195 countries, including the United States and every country that is a member of the United Nations, reached an agreement in Paris, France on December 12, 2015, that recognizes the risk to our children’s and grandchildren’s future from climate change;

WHEREAS, the greatest burden resulting from an inadequate response to the climate crisis will be carried by the youngest generation, and all who follow; 

 

WHEREAS, the risks from an inadequate response are potentially devastating, and including economic disruptions many of which are already being felt such as more severe storms, longer and hotter heat waves, worsening flood and drought cycles, growing invasive species and insect problems, accelerated species extinction rates, rising sea levels, increased wildfires, and a dramatic increase in refugees from climate-impacted lands.  These effects are felt globally but will also impact us a local level with changes to Mahtomedi’s tree habitat, open spaces, wetlands, and lakes, including White Bear Lake; 

WHEREAS, we are global citizens who fully acknowledge that Western-developed nations are most responsible for carbon pollution, but the most severe consequences of climate change will occur in the least-developed nations of the world.  Because the world’s poor are often the least able to respond or prepare for problems with agricultural yields, natural disasters, ecosystem degradation, and sea-level rise, continued carbon emissions will severely limit our ability to reach the global goal of eliminating poverty worldwide, and may instead lead to increases in food, water, and displacement crises, and an influx of refugees from climate-impacted lands;

WHEREAS, leading climate scientists have indicated that further delay in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions will rapidly push humanity past the point where disastrous consequences can be avoided;

WHEREAS, numerous government and non-governmental bodies across the nation, including many municipalities in the State of Minnesota, have adopted climate action plans or taken other concrete steps to immediately and rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also stopping them entirely within 30 years; 

WHEREAS, Chapter 8 of the City of Mahtomedi’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan, titled “Sustainability,” states that “it is important that future planning and development promote healthy living opportunities, sustainable energy infrastructure, the use of renewable resources, preservation and protection of natural resources, and resiliency practices in decision making throughout the community”;

WHEREAS, the City of Mahtomedi has taken steps to address its greenhouse gas emissions by endorsing Mayor Marshall’s signing of the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement in 2006, creating an Environment Commission in 2008, adopting a Sustainability Plan in 2011, and joining the Minnesota GreenStep Cities Program, advancing to Level 3 of the program in 2016; 

WHEREAS, the City of Mahtomedi was awarded a grant by Xcel Energy to participate in its Partners in Energy Program, designed to reduce energy consumption, especially carbon-based energy, in a collaborative effort between the City of Mahtomedi, Xcel energy, local business and religious institutions, and residents of the City of Mahtomedi.  As part of that program, the City of Mahtomedi and Xcel Energy have adopted an Energy Action Plan with the stated goal of achieving a 30 percent reduction in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a 100 percent reduction (carbon neutrality) by 2050.

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mahtomedi City Council is committed to a 30 percent reduction in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a 100 percent reduction (carbon neutrality) by 2050, and will make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a high-priority factor, together with other relevant considerations, in daily operations and strategic planning for purchasing, transportation, land use, and other decisions.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mahtomedi City Council urges the Minnesota Legislature and United States Congress to sponsor and support measures that acknowledge the serious threat posed by climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a clear, transparent, and effective way.

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Kimberly Lynn Byrd, PhD

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